Eastman T64 - To Bigsby or not to Bigsby?

Mr Swisher

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Mine says, no Bigsby.

IMG_20210805_181146.jpg
 

drmordo

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Ha, I'll land firmly on the other side of the argument - a Bigsby makes me FAR less likely to buy a guitar, and I suspect that most guitar players agree with me since I see very few Bigsby players.

So, you are definitely hurting the value and resellability of that fairly expensive guitar by installing a Bigsby.
 

TX_Slinger

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I’ve owned some guitars with a roller bar Bigsby and I can say that very steep break angles behind the bridge will defeat the roller action. The down tension basically keeps the roller from rotating, the bridge is forced to rock and then the string gets snagged. One guitar (Gretsch Pro Jet with mini HBs) could not stay in tune and the Bigsby was too stiff. The break angle was at the extreme end for a TOM, where basically a string or two rests on the bridge frame. I hear what you’re saying though, even though break angle is always a thing to consider.
That's not how any of this works...
 

Roscoe295

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I think I should clarify - the original thread was an inquiry as to whether I should pursue the T64 with a Bigsby or one without.

Not feeling skilled enough to install one.

Appreciate the responses.
 

drmordo

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I think I should clarify - the original thread was an inquiry as to whether I should pursue the T64 with a Bigsby or one without.

Not feeling skilled enough to install one.

Appreciate the responses.

That's a whole 'nother question.

In that case, my answer is the same as it often is - buy the guitar that inspires you the most. If you think having that Bigsby might prompt you to pick up the guitar more often, that is a good reason to buy a Bigsby guitar.
 

Boreas

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I think I should clarify - the original thread was an inquiry as to whether I should pursue the T64 with a Bigsby or one without.

Not feeling skilled enough to install one.

Appreciate the responses.
It is difficult to address your question involving "inherent tuning issues" without explaining those issues, and possible solutions or improvements. Good luck with your choice.
 

BorderRadio

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Much depends on how we wiggle I use the Bigs often, but subtly. So I prefer a smooth, soft wiggle made possible with a squishy spring. Heaven with a minimum of break angle.

What many people likely don't know is that T-O-M some bridges are often designed to be sloppy on the posts and will rock sufficiently for mild wiggling. If you look at the underside, the many designs come to a soft V that ensures it will rock if there is enough slop in the post. The strings stay planted on the saddles and the bridge top rocks - and things miraculously stay in tune.

But if one wiggles their stick with gusto, the strings slip and you will often lose tune unless you include countermeasures to bring it back after a dive - usually just a quick flip of the handle upward to get the strings centered again. The roller replacements usually eliminate the need for this.

But when I can, I simply use Fender Jag/Jazz bridges, minimize the break angle, and play in tune all day long. Bliss.
Right on @Boreas, I know you get it. All bridges rock with a vibrato, and in a TOM set up, the post 'slop' is necessary for a 'good' Bigsby setup, at least for players who are just using it mildly. I haven't met a TOM that was designed to rock however, most people are focused on 'locking' the bridge body to the post. This really doesn't stop a bridge from moving--the string start pushing/pulling at the post threads, and eventually get snagged on a non-rolling saddle.
 

BorderRadio

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That's not how any of this works...
That guitar was badly designed to use a B5, and no it never worked well, even with a roller bridge. Too much break angle behind the bridge. I sold it and eventually got a real Duo Jet w/ B3 many years later. No tuning issues with the later, and no roller bridge either.
 

Boreas

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That guitar was badly designed to use a B5, and no it never worked well, even with a roller bridge. Too much break angle behind the bridge. I sold it and eventually got a real Duo Jet w/ B3 many years later. No tuning issues with the later, and no roller bridge either.
Ditto. Electromatic was much-improved with a B3. Left a couple holes which I left. She's a sweet wiggler now. Chet Atkins.jpg Gretsch B3V.jpg

Another thing I like about the B3/B6 is the mounting simplicity. It really just becomes a floating tailpiece. Chet made it even more elegant.
 
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jayyj

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Right on @Boreas, I know you get it. All bridges rock with a vibrato, and in a TOM set up, the post 'slop' is necessary for a 'good' Bigsby setup, at least for players who are just using it mildly. I haven't met a TOM that was designed to rock however, most people are focused on 'locking' the bridge body to the post. This really doesn't stop a bridge from moving--the string start pushing/pulling at the post threads, and eventually get snagged on a non-rolling saddle.

Vintage ABR tunomatics rock a fair bit just through the posts flexing and slop in the mounting holes, certainly enough to make a difference with a Bigsby setup. Gibson experimented with domed thumbwheels in the 60s as well to encourage the bridge to rock with a vibrato.

The 60s style nylon saddles were also really good on vibrato guitars as they allowed the strings to slip over them far better than metal saddles - I've never had a Bigsby guitar with an ABR and nylon saddles that needed any work at the bridge end to stay in tune.

The modern chunky cast post bridge designs don't play so well with vibratos and roller bridges are definitely more useful at that point if that's what you're dealing with.
 




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